The hot dry weather seems to have brought out the worst types of pests. From Gooseberry saw fly, Rose Saw Fly, Slugs at the beginning of the year, and now Flea Beetle.
Predominantly, they affect most brassica, and enjoy nibbling small holes in the lush laves. You will usually notice a lattice of holes covering most of the leaves. This isn’t usually a problem if your plant has grown large enough to not be affected by it. However, seedlings and young plants can be decimated by them. This is usually why I sow all my seeds in pots, and ensure they are strong plants before putting them in their final position outside.
This year has seen an infestation on the Brussels sprouts, cabbages and cauliflowers, and even the large plants are showing signs of stress.
Unless you are willing to use Pyrethrum (an organic classified insecticide), there is not much that can be done about these.
Usually the best form of defence is preparation. When planting the plants out, cover them in a fine mesh, protecting them from the flea beetle. This can be a pain, and it really does need to be a fine mesh to ensure these critters don’t get in.
As the infestation is so bad, I may well have to use the pyrethrum, to save the Brussels sprouts, otherwise they may well start to suffer.
Originally posted 2018-07-27 10:30:05.